I have continued watching Mansfield Park and I have to say it grew on me – let’s face it it is not very pretty (although I read somewhere that it won a costume award), but it is closest to the novel.
As Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield write in Jane Austen in Hollywood about this adaptation
...Moreover, while we may know that Edmund Bertram is not particularly physically striking, do we really want his earnestly bad hair style thrust constantly on our vision?
The hair styles in this version are particularly bad – wait until you see Mr Yates!
Visit to Sotherton
Here they are on the visit to Sotherton. Mr Rushworth has forgotten the key and Maria and Mr Crawford sneak around the gate.
Practising the Play
Rehearsals for Lover’s Vows – Mr Crawford and Maria are quite enthusiastic.
Now Henry Loves Fanny
The Maria and Mr Rushworth are married and have left for their honeymoon taking Julia with them. Henry is bored and decides to pierce a small hole in Fanny’s heart.
Fanny is in Portsmouth
Fanny is sent back to Portsmouth where it is hoped she will rethink her rejection of Frank’s proposal. This is Frank as his best – showing real concern for Fanny and treating her (awful) parents with courtesy and respect.
A chance encounter in London and Frank runs off with Maria – oops!
And finally Edmund realises he loves Fanny after all.
I think this is a very true adaptation and worth watching if you like Mansfield Park.
Next up the Patricia Rozema’s version
1983 BBC Mansfield Park
As part of my year of Mansfield Park, I have been watching the 1983 BBC version. I’ve only watched one episode (the Crawfords have just arrived).
I don’t have a favourite Mansfield Park adaptation – this one is closest to the novel, but the production values are poor by which I mean it is not very pretty to look at!
I have only watched one episode, but I have to say it is growing on me – particularly the two leads they do seem well-suited to each other and to their parts. I suspect fashions in acting have changed in the past 30 years because to me there seems to be a lot of over acting, but I imagine that was how the actors were directed.
This is a six part adaptation that is very faithful to the novel. It first aired in the UK in 1983. Check out the IMDb site.
To a modern audience familiar with the beautiful recent Austen adaptations, such as Sense and Sensibility, this seems dated and dull. And very quiet – there is no music in the background. It definitely lacks sparkle and prettiness (we need Andrew Davies involved).
Having said that, the acting is brilliant and as the screenplay follows the novel closely, it’s our only choice if we want to watch a faithful adaptation.
Here are some screen shots …
Young Fanny and Edmund
Miss Crawford, Edmund and Fanny
Miss Bertram and Mr Crawford
Fanny and Edmund
Here are some more reviews…
From the Jane Austen Centre
From Screen Online